South-Western - Management  
For UPS Managers, A School of Hard Knocks
Topic Managing Individuals and Teams
Key Words diversity, managing individuals, community service
InfoTrac Reference none
News Story

In 1968, UPS founder James Casey found a way to expose UPS's predominantly white managers to the poverty and inequality found in many cities. He began the Community Internship Program (CIP). Each summer, UPS brings 50 of its most promising managers to cities across the U.S. for a month where they live among the poor and participate in daily community service projects aiding the local population. The goal of the program is to bridge the cultural divide that separates, for instance, a white manager from an African-American driver. Minorities make up 35% of the workforce and 52% of new hires, while three out of four managers are white.

Managers have reported that they are better able to empathize with employees facing crises, and are more flexible in dealing with these individuals. It has also made them more likely to search for unconventional solutions. UPS values these skills highly. In 34 years of the program, UPS has never scaled it back, even during tough economic times. Its costs amount to $10,000 per intern, or $13 million since its inception.


What does UPS do to train its managers to work with a diverse employee population?


Why is diversity important in an organization?


Visit the website:, and summarize how UPS views the issue of diversity within the company.

Source "For UPS Managers, A School of Hard Knocks," Business Week, July 22, 2002, p. 58.
Instructor Discussion Notes Discussion Notes
These notes are restricted to qualified instructors only. Register for free!

Return to the Managing Individuals and Teams Index

©2003  South-Western.  All Rights Reserved     |